All About Steamboat Springs Colorado
The vast majority of visitors come to Steamboat Springs Colorado to experience our World Class skiing and legendary Champagne Powder at the Steamboat Ski Resort! The Winter season is definitely a special time of the year for those who are lucky enough to visit Ski Town USA when it is blanketed with over 30 feet of snow!
Steamboat Springs is known as Ski Town USA because of its World Class Ski mountain and the fact that it has produced more winter Olympians than any other town in America, a record 79 and counting. During the 2010 Olympic games, there were 17 athletes with ties to the Steamboat Winter Sports Club and City of Steamboat. Howelson hill is also the oldest ski hill in the country, first used for ski jumping in 1914, and actually still used today by athletes training for the Olympics!
Steamboat Springs sits on the western ridge of the continental divide and is surrounded by national forests and Wilderness areas. It is located in Northern Colorado, just 160 miles from Denver. The elevation of downtown is 6,695ft above sea level and the top of the Ski Resort is 10,568. The City of Steamboat Springs has a population of around 10,000.
Steamboat was originally a Summer Resort visited by travelers in the early 1900's for the Natural Hot Springs and incredible fishing and hunting in the yampa valley. Today, Summer activities abound including world class mountain and road biking, fly fishing in several rivers and mountain lakes, hiking, three championship golf courses, indoor/outdoor tennis center, kayaking, hot air balloon rides, and horseback riding!
After you have been visiting Steamboat for awhile you will begin to hear about 'The Yampa Valley Curse', which says that "Those who come to the Yampa Valley to live will never be able to leave." This was quoted from a Ute Indian leader who were the first inhabitants of the Yampa valley in the early 1800's. Now if you talk with present day locals who have been here for a few years, you will also hear them say that they "came for the winter and stayed for the summer". To be honest, you will probably love all four seasons in Steamboat! There are an endless number of outdoor activities to enjoy in the winter, spring, summer or fall.
You will find plenty of detailed information about Steamboat Springs and how to plan your next vacation to our little mountain town on this website. If you have any questions, just ask a Steamboat local!
Driving Directions to Steamboat Springs, Colorado:
From Hayden/Steamboat Springs (HDN) Airport
The Steamboat/Hayden airport is located 22 miles west of Steamboat Springs off Hwy 40 before you get to the town of Hayden. From the airport, take the access road about 2 miles out to Hwy 40 and turn right. Steamboat is about 22 miles east. Hwy 40 travels along the Yampa river until you get to Steamboat Springs, there are No mountain passes to travel over when driving from this direction. There is no public bus service from the airport however, shuttle services from the Hayden airport are available via Go Alpine shuttle service.
From The City of Denver (DIA) Airport
Once you get on 1-70 in Denver Colorado, you can reach Steamboat Springs with only 2 more turns! Steamboat is located 157 miles Northwest of Denver, an easy 3 hour drive. Take I-70 west through the Eisenhower Tunnel to Silverthorne, Take a right off Exit 205 onto CO 9 (67 miles) - Turn #1. Take CO 9 North to Kremmling (37 miles) and turn Left at the first light you come to in town - Turn #2. Continue West on US 40 to Steamboat Springs (53 miles) while driving over Rabbit Ears Pass. If you are driving during the Winter, please make sure to check local road conditions prior to driving in the mountains and have adequate transportation (all wheel drive or four wheel drive is recommended). Shuttle services from the Denver airport are available via Go Alpine shuttle service.
Alternate Routes if Rabbit Ears Pass is Closed
Take this route if US 40 over Rabbit Ears Pass is closed and you are coming from Denver or Colorado Springs.
Option #1 - Take I-70 west through the Eisenhower Tunnel to Silverthorne, Take a right off Exit 205 onto CO 9 (67 miles). Take CO 9 North to Kremmling (37 miles) and turn Left at the first light you come to in town. Continue West on US 40 until the intersection with CO 134 (6 miles). Turn left onto CO134 and go over Gore Pass. When you Toponas on teh other side of Gore Pass, take Colorado 131 north to Steamboat Springs (40 miles).
Option #2 - Take I-70 west from Denver through the Eisenhour Tunnel and over Vail Pass (continue west through the town of Vail) until you reach Wolcott at Exit 157 and Take CO 131 North to Steamboat Springs (75 miles), then left on US 40 to town (4 miles).
From Laramie, Wyoming
Take WY 230 West (Snowy Range exit) through Mountain Home to the Wyoming/Colorado border, the road changes to CO 127. Stay on CO 127 to Walden. Take CO 14 West to US 40 and turn Right on Hwy 40 going over Muddy Pass and Rabbit Ears Pass to Steamboat Springs.
Do you know how the City of Steamboat Springs got its name?
Named by French Fur Trappers in 1860 who heard a sound that reminded them of a steamboat. It actually came from a hot springs near the Yampa river. When the railroad was laid, the sound stopped. There are over 150 springs in the Yampa Valley, including Strawberry Park Hot Springs, The Heart Spring which is located at the Health and Rec Center, Soda Spring, Litha Springs and many others located on private lands throughout the area.
Map of Where Steamboat Springs is Located and several Accommodations and Attractions to help plan your Colorado vacation!
View Where is Steamboat Springs Colorado in a larger map
Two Must-See Stops when visiting Steamboat
It is easy to get caught up in all the outdoor activities when visiting Steamboat Colorado, but here are a few local attractions that should not be missed.
#1 - Old Town Hot Springs
Downtown Steamboat's Old Town Hot Springs went through a major renovation last year, and was transformed into a water resort and spa for all ages. They have added 2 new water slides, 100 square ft of new pools, a custom built hot pool with its own climbing wall and two new spa pools w/ waterfalls.
#2 - Mainstreet Steamboat Springs
If you have not been downtown . . . you've missed THE BOAT! Downtown Steamboat Springs is the heart of the community. This is where our history lies. From 3rd to 13th Streets, and from the Yampa River to Oak Street, there are 43 restaurants and 78 shops, including art galleries and spas, professionals and services, government buildings, museums and public spaces. Downtown is the home of Howelsen Hill, our largest publicly-owned recreational complex, housing the oldest ski complex in Colorado, a rodeo arena, an Olympic-sized indoor skating rink, an alpine slide, and acres of biking, hiking and cross-country skiing trails, all within walking distance of downtown.